tv PBS News Hour PBS June 29, 2012 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: president obama visited the heavily fire damaged areas of coloro today after he declared the state a major disaster area. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, kwame holman has the latest on the wildfire that's destroyed more than 300 homes in colorado springs, the state's second largest city. >> woodruff: we talk to the european union ambassador about the tentative deal reached in brussels today to create a bank rescue fund. >> brown: ray suarez explores the road ahead after the landmark supreme court health care decision with representatives from the obama and romney presidential campaigns.
>> woodruff: mark shields and michael gerson analyze the week's news. >> brown: margaret warner profiles julian cardona. a mexican photojournalist who's documented the corrosive effect of drug violence on his hometown of juarez. >> woodruff: and we close with some personal reflections from margaret about what she's seen and experienced on her reporting trip. >> the fears is pretty high, here in mexico city it's completely different. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network-- a living, breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. >> look, it's so simple. >> in a year, the bright minds from inside and outside the company come together to work on an idea. adding to it from the road, improving it in the cloud, all in real time. >> good idea. >> it's the at&t network. providing new ways to work together, so business works better.
and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the worst fire in colorado history kept on burning today, after consuming hundreds of homes. a thousand firefighters worked to corral the flames, as the president viewed the devastation from the air and on the ground. newshour correspondent kwame holman has our report
>> reporter: the people of colorado springs still were reeling today from the destruction: 347 homes burned to ashes in the waldo canyon firestorm. >> i know it's gone, but it has been there for 13 years. it's hard. and that's hard. >> that's a difficult conversation to have with your children, to say, you don't have a house to come back to. >> reporter: and late last night police chief peter carey also reported the first confirmed death from the fire. >> unfortunately, the remains of one human being was discovered in debris. the search continues. we have informed family members. >> reporter: flames consumed row after row of houses, after the fire roared out of control tuesday night, driven by high winds. the scale of the disaster was evident in these images taken thursday from the international space station. enormous plumes of smoke rose over the state. yesterday, and again today, the
weather cooperated and crews were able to keep the fire from spreading, beyond its 26 square miles. >> we are able to up our containment now to at least 15%, and i know people may go, 15%?. well, 15% is a lot based on the type of terrain that were dealing with here today. we feel a lot of condence based on the weather that we will be able to up that number even more by the end of the day. >> reporter: president obama got his own look at the situation today, spending three hours on the ground in colorado springs. the courage, determination, professionalism, the heart that they show when they are out there battling these fires. when we had a chance onsite to see some guys who had just saved three homes in a community that had been devastated, for those families, the work and the
sacrifice of those firefighters means the world to them. and they are genuine heroes. >> reporter: the president also made federal funds available to help the victims, but at a thursday meeting, tempers flared among some of the more than 30,000 evacuees, who just want to go home. >> i looked this up. i'm not flying off the cuff here. i have rights as a property owner. i'm asking you to respect those rights and not have anyone arrest to include myself if i so choose to cross that line. >> reporter: meanwhile, investigators are using video of what may be the fire's beginning -- witnessed by cyclists-- to determine how it started. >> when the event really started to unfold quickly and we had a lot of smoke, that's not extremely valuable, but that very first initial line of smoke, single line of smoke is. >> reporter: to the north, the massive high park fire near fort collins now is 85% contained. evacuees trying to get back and see the damage there have waited in long lines. nearly 260 homes were destroyed in that blaze.
and a huge wildfire in montana now has burned more than 110,000 acres and is only 5% contained. it, like many fires burning in the west, was ignited by lightning. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": a european union bank deal; what's next for health care; shields and gerson; the deadly streets of juarez and reflections on reporting in mexico. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wall street surged sharply higher today. stocks soared amid hopes that european leaders are finally making headway in their long- running debt battle. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 278 points to close at 12,880. the nasdaq rose 85 points to close at 2,935. for the week, the dow gained nearly 2%. the nasdaq rose 1.5%. congress has approved a compromise bill to hold down interest rates on student loans
and fund transportation programs. the bill won easy, bipartisan support in the house and senate today. it prevents student loan rates from doubling, as of sunday, to 6.8%. and, it provides $100 billion for highway and other projects over the next two years. a florida judge began weighing today whether to grant bond a second time for george zimmerman, the man accused in the trayvon martin killing. zimmerman has admitted to shooting the 17-year-old martin in february, but he has insisted that he acted in self-defense after martin attacked him. today, prosecutors and defense lawyers argued over whether zimmerman and his wife lied at an april bond hearing. at the time, they never mentioned raising $135,000 on a legal defense website. >> it was done to hide the money so they could deceive the court, lie to the court. ms. zimmerman lied to the court and this defendant just sat there and allowed it to happen, because he quite frankly was manipulating the whole thing,
using his wife as a conduit to do this. >> i ask for some consideration that it is not the grand conspiracy that the state seems to suggest through their presentation and their motions and through the cross- examination of the witnesses so far, that it just wasn't. >> sreenivasan: the judge had initially granted zimmerman's release on $150,000 bond. he revoked the bond this month, after learning about the legal defense money and sent zimmerman back to jail. there was no indication today when the judge will issue a new ruling. attorney general eric holder will not face criminal prosecution for contempt of congress. republicans in the u.s. house voted the contempt citation yesterday, saying holder withheld documents on a failed gun-smuggling investigation. but the justice department said today that since the president invoked executive privilege, there is no crime to investigate. the house can still ask a federal court to make holder hand over the documents. the brother of financier bernard madoff pleaded guilty today to falsifying documents in a multi-
billion dollar ponzi scheme. peter madoff has said he did not learn of the scam until late 2008, despite decades of working with his brother. still, he admitted in federal court in new york that he fabricated investment results. he now faces a ten-year prison sentence. bernard madoff is serving a 150- year sentence. monsoon flooding in northeastern india has left hundreds of thousands of people cut off. and, at least 27 were confirmed dead. in recent days, nearly one million people in the state of assam have been forced from their homes. the brahmaputra river has swamped 2000 villages. rescue operations were under way, but heavy rains hampered the effort. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and to some unexpected progress in the battle against europe's financial crisis. for months members of the 17- nation euro zone have struggled to resolve disagreements over bailouts and spending cuts. with german chancellor angela merkel taking a very public hard line. but at a summit today, she and others surprised most observers
with new steps. those include allowing banks to get capital directly from a $600 billion bailout fund instead of getting the money through governments; creating a new banking supervisor for the eurozone and letting some troubled countries tap into rescue funds more easily as we've heard, the markets liked it and europeans had some respite as they enjoyed or, depending on the country, despaired over the ongoing soccer championship. james mates of "independent television news" begins our look. >> they kept her up for most of the night and by the time chancellor merkel emerged blurry eyed into the dawn, she had agreed to policies that just a day before she called eye wash and fake solutions. emulating his footballers italy's prime minister had scored a second victory of the night over germany proving that sometimes beggars can be choosers. he and his spanish counterpart had come to
brussels seeking help and then threatened to block everything until they got it. such is the precarious state of the euro that angela merck el feared it might collapse if they said no. >> there has been a real threat to the existence of the euro coming into this summit. and if the summit had not delivered anything at all, come monday morning we would have seen a massive market panic which may not have been controllable. >> reporter: so exactly a week ago at a meeting in rome angela merkel said german taxpayers' money couldn't be used to rescue spanish banks directly because i'm the chancellor of germany and i can't tell them what to do. today the message was very different. i think we made a good compromise, she said. but doing what you said you'd never do sounds more like a defeat than a compromise. >> david cameron's role has been to dodge between the warring parties hoping none of this damages british interest. for one, he has been able to
stand back from the fray. >> italy, spain, france, germany, they may be playing each other at football but when it comes to the eurozone they may all be on the same side. and the side they need to be on is doing what is necessary to make their single currency succeed. >> that may be a way off yet but they have at least kept the life-support systems working. this had been billed as the week to save the euro. and the immediate danger has been averted. we may vote, be back here again quite soon. >> brown: and i'm joined now by: ambassador joaão vale de almeid, head of the european union delegation to the united states. welcome back. so is it a real shift, did someing important happen, a major turn? how do you see it? >> i think we all learned since the beginning of this crisis to be humble and crisis. >> brown: yes, we've had this conversation before. >> but even with that degree of cautiousness i think this is a big step, a major step, i would say, towards the solution of our problems. >> brown: was there as we heard in that piece, was there a sense of crace is
that something had to be done or some very serious things could happen as early as monday? >> i think so i think the introduction was fair in saying that we were facing a difficult situation. we are still facing a difficult situation. we are not complacent about that. i think our leaders, you know, they realize that. and they had a long meeting, well into the morning. but they came out with a set of decisions, short term and long term that in my view call difficultly change the situation where we are today. >> brown: specifically, how does it change? if the banks are getting money directly rather than through government, how does that change things dramatically? >> well, it stops the vicious circle that we had to manage between support to banks and impact on the sovereign debt. because the banks needed -- --.
>> from the european union crisis instruments are not from member straits but we are stoppping this vicious circle. this a very important call that difficult change in the way we manage this crisis. >> brown: my understanding is they don't have access to that money until the end of the year or into 2013. can it wait that long? >> i think we will now need to implement all these measures but it's clear the direction has been set. i think the markets understood today what we mean by this. they impacted the magnitude of what we have just done. so i think we are on the right track as far as, you know, again, the bank support from the sovereign debt situation. this will make a fundamental difference. >> brown: speaking of the direction, i want to speak about the larger direction
for europe was angela merkel who has talked about more europe, even amidst the talk of a total fraying. now are we moving in that direction? and what specifically? i see talk of a eurozone treasury, something more like what we have here with power to change national budgets. i see talk of a banking union with greater regulatory power over european banks. >> jeff, no one is talking about less europe. everybody is talking about more europe. >> brown: uh-huh. >> of course there are differences on what more europe mean os. some want to go faster, some want to go slightly slower but everyone wants more europe. everyone realizes that if europe is to come out of this crisis stronger we need to have more europe. meaning we need to be more integrated. it requires sol date, all of this is being played in the european scene today. let me point, one point, we're talking about growth as well. >> brown: uh-huh. >> sometime wes are criticize by too much
austerity, not enough growth. this week the leaders agreed on $150 billion injection not economy. that would unlock further 225 billion dollars as private investment. this is-- this response to those who say austerity is not enough, we believe both are necessary. >> brown: well, you've said that before, both are necessary. but are you suggesting there is a real shift away from too much emphasis on austerity? >> there is a chief evolution in the sense of say recognizing at we need to do more to support growth. and the leader as greerx the package, they call it the growth in jobs. compact which will coexist with the fiscal compact, again the austerity, on the financial budgetary side coupled with proactive growth financing measures. if you put all this together with what i just referred to about the barjs and the delinking with the sovereign debt, we can have a set of
measures and solutions here that go a long way in addressing the problem. >> brown: there was a lo of emphasis on the things we are talking about. i didn't hear much about greece, the greek new president was not there. the prime minister because of illness. >> that explains the fact that in the absence of the great prime minister was in hospital a few days ago. there was no discussion. >> brown: intu there an expectation -- >> greece is still there. >> and some of the problems are still there. >> brown: yeah. >> we have a new government who has recommitted to implementing the memorandum, agreed to the terms of the agreement. we'll have our teams going to greece next week, a soon as the prime minister recovers we will be, of course, having political contact. greece has recommitted again to implement the measures. they will benefit from some of the measures,. >> so as of the moment because we've had these moments where we say now it looks like greece is leaving
the euro, at this point you are saying --. >> this is not part of our agenda. >> rooney: . >> brown: and last thing because you said before we have had these moments before, you still have to, it's a question of sort of convincing thearkets right. today the markets were happy. we could be here on monday and you don't know. >> i don't want to speak for the markets. i want to speak for europe. and what i can tell the markets today. and i think they understood so far, is that we mean business. and we are doing our homework. and this week we went-- we did a major step. we took a major step forward in finding the right solutions for our programs. i am confident. very happy today with the results of the european council and we will see in the following weeks how things develop. i think we entered a new track on the positive one. >> brown: all right, ambassador joao vale de almeida, thank you very much. >> woodruff: now, to politics. ray suarez has two different
takes on what's next for politics and health care policy after thursday's supreme court ruling. >> suarez: maryland governor martin o'malley is chairman of the democratic governor's association and a top surrogate for the president, governor, welcome. yesterday during his address following the release of the decision, the president kidded about the political value of the affordable care act, almost implying there wasn't much. but looking at it now s this a win politically for the president? >> i think ultimately it will be. what we have to do a better job of as a party is explaining the benefits and the rational here. i mean not only do we need to stop wasting money on a broken health-care system, but we need to improve wellness and bring down costs so that we can grow our economy. so that we can create jobs and so that we can expand opportunity. and that's the golden opportunity now that we have to better explain this important step in america's
journey. >> well n advance of that explanation, the public opinion research implies that the law is still pretty unpopular even though the public says it likes parts of the overall legislation. how is that an asset going forward to november? >> well, again, i think we have to do a better job explaining it than the detractors have done in attacking it look, all of us, i think, have a natural inclination to be against any sort of expansion of government. and the critics of this obamacare have tried to portray it as if it's some sort of welfare expansion when it's not. they use coded words like medicaid or federal spending or government programs when in point of fact what this allows us to do for the first time now, to join other industrialized nations instead of wasting money on a much more expensive system where fewer and fewer people every year are covered, we can now use those dollars as we bend down the cost curve to reinvest, and to allow
family-owned businesses to reinvest in their own businesses and expand jobs instead of cutting an ever larger check to insurance s-- companies for insurance premiums. >> suarez: the public has already started to see some changes. what is in the pipeline. if i live in maryland and i'm watching nervously as my bills come in from time to time or there is a check off on my pay stub, what is going to change about acquiring health care? >> well, for those who already have health care, i mean they will see no perceptible change except that over time those premiums wil not increase as they had been skyrocketing over the last ten years. but important changes are kind of the fact that soon no one will be able to have their insurance denied because of a preexisting condition. now that could affect half of the people in maryland under those old insurance company definitions. kids up to the age of 26 will be able to continue to
receive health care under their parents' plans. and also the preventive care, the wellness that seniors are able to receive free of charge, those things will continue. the most important thing that this does is it allows us with some finality and some clarity to finally move forward beyond this sort of idea logical campaign against obama care. and instead, actually see that it will benefit our economy, will allow us to stop wasting money on increased health-care costs and instead start to grow our economy again. >> more than half the governors in the united states that you were not one of them, went to court to block implementation of the law. do you worry that some of the mechanics of the affordable care act will be undermined if some states opt out after the high courts pronouncement on medicaid yesterday? >> well, those other governors will have to respond and have to be held
accountable to their public for their decisions. i can tell you that in maryland we decided early on that we wanted to be an early implementer of obamacare because we realized that that will be a competitive advantage for our family-owned businesses, for our start-ups. you know mr. suarez, the u.s. chamber of commerce named maryland number one in entrepreneurship so we foresee the benefits that will come to our small businesses and our start-ups by being able to finally bring down those health-care costs so they can bring up the jobs that come from their talents and their hard work. >> suarez: are you ready for the exchanges? are you ready to bring people who meet some of these income requirements into the system and get them a new way of buying insurance? >> we are. i mean it's required a lot of work. we had to bring steak holders in from private sector insurance companies, nurses, doctors. but we have already passed through the maryland general assembly the law that sets up our health care exchange.
we have already set up the i.t. infrastructure that will allow this without-to-work. and we have core staff in place that will be able to manage this new marketplace where family-owned businesses can obtain more affordable health care moving forward. these are all steps that we took because we wanted maryland to be a winner and wanted maryland to take advantage of this opportunity. and we're very excited about it and we are certainly willing and able to help other states that will now see the benefits and also want to serve their people. >> martin o'malley is the governor of maryland. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> for the other side we're joined by tevi troy, a senior fellow at the hudson institute and a special advisor to governor mitt romney's presidential campaign. what's your reaction to what governor o'malley had to say? >> well, first of all, thanks for having me. and it's great to sea my home state governor, governor o'malley on screen. i do have issues with what he had to say, especially this notion that it is a communications problem, that
they haven't communicated enough. the problem is not the communication strategy about the affordable care act, the problem is the policies of the the affordable care act it is a tax hiker. it will cost jobs. it will not bend the cost curve down it doesn't cover everybody. it creates an-- that gets in between an individual and their doctors that is item american people are rebelling against it. >> suarez: governor romney promised repeal in his message yesterday. if it is not a blowout for the republicans in november, as a practical matter s repeal even possible. >> i am not sure where we are going with blowout. >> suarez: if you have more than 40 democratic senators who are members of the united states senate. >> are you talking about if governor romney wins and there is a republican house and senate but not 60 votes. in that instance, there are enormous number of opportunities. if you remember the affordable care act was passed through a reconciliation type process. that is why they can't handle things like-- in the
final version of the bill. i think governor romney said clearly. his comment yesterday was more clear than the supreme court decision which people are still trying to sort through. he said he would start repeal in his first day in office. if there is a republican house and senate there is a real opportunity to do so. >> suarez: the governor has also implied that he would try to retain the parts of the bill, eventually, that people like. but the insurers are saying sorry, reform won't work unless we have it all. the numbers just don't work. >> well look, there's a 2700 page bill and it's hugely complicated and hugely -- >> that is why he says we have to start from scratch. find a bipartisan way to find market base reforms that give individuals more flexibility, states more flexibility and still provide safeguards for people who need they governor mali was talking about preexisting conditions, he talked about preexisting conditions and making sure people who maintain continuous coverage get
coverage if they have previous conditions. i done think there is a disagreement there what i think is you need to start from scratch with a market-based bill. >> suarez: but that is a perfect example. 2700 pages or not, you have to have counterveiling money coming in if you are going to make a promise that you're going to cover people that you didn't used to cover because they were expensive. money has to come from somewhere else now. you can do that? >> absolutely. that's a really good question. and i found it interesting how governor o'malley talked about code words like federal spending. federal spending is not a code word. if the affordable care act spends $2 trillion that is not a code word that is $2 trillion that the american people have to pay for. i think the act is so expensive and outlandish that are are opportunities to find better, cheaper ways of doing it especially if you use market mechanisms, let people purchase across state lines. if you have tort reform that would save $50 billion over ten years that one reform alone. governor romney has a host of ideas, specific ideas and general principleses that
would governed how he would go forward. >> suarez: the governor promised to cut taxes and balance the budget. the congressional budget office says repeal would cost the government $300 billion. you can do all of that? >> well, you know, the question of repeal is a question of how much it spends based on the cbo score at the time so i think we'll look at the cbo scores if and when governor romney becomes president and figure out the best way to do that. but it is quite clear that the $2 trillion that the affordable care act is going to spend, and originally was one, that number kept going. as the cost estimates get worse and worse i think is less and less of a saver-- of a coster to repeal it. >> suarez: does it remain a difficulty that the first elected official in the united states to sign a health-care bill with a mandate is criticizing the second one for doing the same thing? >> look, i know are you talking about governor romney's plan in massachusetts is very different from what president obama did.
>> suarez: how so. >> he did not impose something on all 50 states. nation. massachusetts as we know is a more liberal state and different a prepare. governor romney would not impose that on all 50 states. also, president obama's plan cut $500 billion from medicare without doing anything to shore up medicare financing. governor romney didn't do anything along those lines. nor did governor romney create an ipab which is very unpopular and will lead to bureaucrats getting in between patients and their doctors. >> suarez: we'll keep watching the numbers and keep talk. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> brown: we continue our coverage of the supreme court's ruling with a blog from gwen ifill on how the momentous day's events unfolded and how many in the news media initially got things all wrong. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and gerson, syndicated columnist mark shields and "washington post" columnist michael gerson, filling in for david brooks. gentlemen, good to you have with us.
>> great to be here. >> woodruff: the solt hair ruling-- the health care ruling, mark, what is your take on it. >> my take on it, judy, is i had been unaware of how disspirited, even demoralized democrats had become until that health care decision came down. there was a new spring in democrats' steps. a new lift to their spirits. >> woodruff: really? >> yes, there really was. they needed a victory, they needed a win. and they hadn't had one for quite a while whether it's economic news or anything else. i mean i just-- everywhere i turn, every democrat i ran into was exhilarated, it seemed. and just uplifted by what happened. >> woodruff: unmitigated win for the democrats s that how you see? >> i think a supreme court victory for a president is better than a stick in the eye. and that's the alternative here. if it had been overturned it would have been disastrous for him this would have been his primary legislative achievement, you know, overturned.
avoiding a major loss, though s no necessarily a major victory. and i think that right now this is still a very un. lar bill. it's numbers have been stable, remarkably stable for really two years. i don't think that this is going to change that. this is an inherently conflicted issue where it's hard for either side to gain much advantage, much immediate advantage. now you have a president that is going to defend attacks that he said was not a tax. and you have an opponent, romney who is going to attack a pan date which is similar to the one he had in mass mas. that is an inherently prickably-- prickly situation. >> woodruff: you are saying it is difficult for both of them. >> i think it is but i would give, right now, you would have to say that health care, which inspired a lot of the democratic loss in 2010 remains a fairly unpopular issue in america. the president's message here is let's get beyond these old debates. not let's embrace my health-care reform. >> i think there is a case
to be made, judy, when we talk so much about the constitution and constitutionality. we do have three branches. we've got the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. and the, this law was passed by the congress. it was signed by the president. and affirmed by the supreme court. and i think that is regular order. i think that yes, i don't argue with michael that it has been unpopular. it consistently, about 40% in favor and 50% against. but i think the administration quite frankly walked away from it. i think they, it became an orphan piece of legislation. the argument was-- thursday when the decision came down the president made the case better in the four or five minutes, six minutes they spoke about it than he had or anybody who had in the administration had since it passed. >> woodruff: you mean the comments yesterday. >> i think he has a window here to make a case, let's be very blunt about it. mitt romney was thrilled
that health care became the interpiece. not stimply because he is vulnerable but because it got immigration. in two weeks it vas lightsed, equivocate and still has not come up with be answer on what he would do. >> woodruff: you are saying it is good for romy. >> health care, changing the subject was good for romney. >> i do think it's possible some voters may take a second look at this law, in the aftermath and look at the individual provision and find them helpful. some voters may get angry. the supreme court didn't act and give money to mitt romney which seems to have happened in the last few days. i think those effects are likely to be temporary and fairly marginal and probably buried by the jobs news we will get on january 6th. i'm sorry on july 6th. >> woodruff: so you don't see this staying as a big slew through to november. >> this was a status quo decision. it was not a major overturn. and i don't think it will change the status quo of the election all that much. >> just to be consistent, i have feld that the losing side would be energized by the decision. and i think the energy will
be with those who are against it, whether tea party, more conservative republicans. i done think-- i don't think it gos to grow much. those who are intensely against it, they will work. they will knock on doors. they will make telephone calls. >> you mean the conservatives. >> the conservatives but i don't think it is a growing constituency. you discuss health care in this campaign the better it is for the democrats, quite honestly. whether it becomes a debate about medicare, and mitt romney said on thursday what we have to do is this law, whatever the law is has to cover those with preexisting conditions and that they will be guaranteed that they will have coverage. well, how is that going to happen. what is the formula. i mean all of a sudden you have to start answering questions about you know how you would reach that lty and i think admirable objective. >> do you agree the more health care, the more it
helps the democrats? >> wbltion i don't note. you look at what the president said. and let's not relitigate the past, okay. so it is a message that essentially let's live with the law. that's very different from claiming great credit for an achievement. there is a lot of down ticket members in the democratic party that don't want to talk about health care at all it is particularly a state that say tight -- >> in fact it is a different situation, isn it, for if you are running for this house or the senate. >> it is. if it becomes a debate, i'm not just talking about the health care law. if it becomes a debate about medicare it works for the democrats and against the republicans. and i think virtually every democrat from the bluest of blue dogs to the most liberal of liberals is happy to run on medicare and defending, strengthening, reinforcing, supporting medicare against those who would have already voted, in
fact, to change medicare. >> does put any more pressure, michael, on governor romney to flesh out his own health care proposal which mark was just -- >> no, i think as you probably saw from the interchange here that romney wants to keep this at a very vague level of generality here. that's probably his interest as a challenger. that is not unusual. that's usually the case. your job is to make the crit seek and-- critique and go out on principleses. >> woodruff: anythingest to say about the urt, the fact that roberts, the chief justice surprised everybody and went over as a liberal. >> i think it is fair to say that yesterday the supreme court instead of being the justice anthony kennedy court became the chief justice john roberts court. he put his stamp on it. >> i completely agree with that. the decision itself was a wonder. it balanced so many interests. it was like juggling on a tightrope and de it very successfully.
really marked the emergence as roberts as the key figure on the court. he both avoided a major political crisis, gave conservatives things they wapped by restricting the commerce clause as it applies in these cases and established himself as the central thinking on the court. that's quite an achievement. >> and the court doesn't go down as a court that is predictably one that is divide add long party lines. >> separation of powers is alive and well here. the judges were not political machines that were just-- outcomes they were thinking independently according to the law that is pretty reassuring, actually. >> well, one other thing that happened yesterday that someone got overlooked and that is for the first time in history, mark, the congress, the house of representatives voted to say that a member of the presidential can be debt-- cabinet to hold him in contempt that is the attorney general, eric holder over this so-called gun-walking operation, fast
and furious what is the significance of that? >> well, it's significant. it's historic it is the first time it has ever happened, that a cabinet officer has been held in contempt by congress. and it was a-- i think one can say not a well thought out act. it was rushed, quite frankly. i mean the past when there has ever been a vote it has been months, usually three months from the time there has been a committee hearing, committee fighting, to the congress acting. but i think this, judy, is we've got a convergence of factors. you've got first of all darrell issa who was the chairman of the committee. congressman from california who announced early on that he was going to be, you know, the number one nemesis of the administration with hearings and exposure and all the rest of it. he hadn't fulfilled that promise, that pledge. but he got an opening here.
this was a bad policy. it was a dumb policy. it resulted in personal tragedy. on the part of the administration and the part of the alcohol, tobacco, firearms and terrorism. but at the same time there was dissembling on the part of the justice department. i mean he got his opening. issa got his opening when they gazed-- gave the wrong information, misinformation to the committee about the program itself. and then a full ten months before it was corrected. so that was the opening he had. and that's where we are right now. >> so how big an embarrassment is this for the administration for the attorney general? >> i think it could have been far less if they would have avoided that. they left the congress under a false impression for nine or ten months. related to a real tragedy. at least 2,000 guns out there at least. where life was lost. i think also though that
republicans that i talked to on the hill are just up set about the lack of accountability in this case. something like this goes wrong, no one is really held responsible. you have senator cornyn on yesterday, he asked the rhetorical question what does it take to get fired in eric holder's justice department this was a very versus-- serious case, so i think that has caused a number of members on the hill that are not normally firebrands cannot bomb throwers to be deeply conditioned about this case. because the justice department left the wrong impression. has not used executive privilege in a way not to protect the highest levels of communication between the president and staff but to cover the embarrassment of midst level justice department political appointees that is a pretty novell use of executive plif lige and i think it is resented on the hill. >> does it go anywhere from here, though. >> i think just one other point i would quickly add and that is i don't think there is any question that there is a personal
animosity toward eric holder on the part of many republicans. >> why is that? >> well, i think in parts's political make no mistake about it that there has been a systemic effort to limit through voter i.d. laws the turnout. i mean when the republican house majority leader in pennsylvania announces governor romney will carry pennsylvania because of the state voter i.d. law we just passed here in pennsylvania, which will knock basically democrats from voting even though there is no voter fraud alleged, approved, and eric holder has been the adversary and nemesis on that, that does not in any way change the facts of what has happened on the gun fiasco. >> you are saying -- >> i think fits in larger. >> i think it fits into a larger republican objective. >> do you see that kind of a -- >> the larger narrative here is that very few people on the hill would accuse this
current justice department of being particularly competent it wasn't after-- went after cia agents unnecessarily. they tried to challid sheikh mohammed in new york which say total disaster and now fast and furious this is serial incompetence so that is also part of the context here. and i think that there is-- just less tolerance for this on the hill because of a long cum latif record here. >> it showed a rather remarkable level of tolerance for the predecessor in the last administration. >> woodruff: and nobody is leer to speak up for the justice department. >> well, no, i mean-- i will speak up for 9 justice departments. and the career people there and what they have done but i don't think you can argue that fast and furious was a success. the only defense seems to it be was originated under the bush administration and that is not enough, i'm sorry. that just isn't validation or vindication. >> woodruff: viewpoint heard,
viewpoint heard, mark shields, michael gerson, thank you both. >> brown: finally tonight, margaret warner has been in mexico all week as that nation prepares to vote for a new president on sunday. in her reporting, she visited juarez, the site of so much violence and met a photographer who's been documenting the city's struggles. a warning: some of the images are disturbing. ♪ >> these photographs come from postcards, of the old juarez. this is the city i knew when i was a child. during those years, the city was a small place and i knew all the
city we grew up together. >> warner: burritos tony claims to have invented that staple of mexican cuisine and it's where photojournalist julian cardona took us to see what ciudad juarez once was-- a lively but comfortable place hard by the rio grande river across from el paso, texas. his parents moved here with him in 1960 from farther south, as so many others did, looking for the plentiful jobs on the border in u.s.-owned factories known as "maquiladoras." as a young man, in 1993, fed up with the his own hum-drum work in the factories, he joined the local newspaper, el diario. >> by the '90's the maquiladoras had several industrial parks and hundreds of plants and it was growing very fast.
tv set was made every three seconds and a computer made every seven seconds. i was interested since the beginning to show the growing economy, underground economy of the city. >> warner: the new arrivals put up dwellings anywhere they could, even cardboard houses with sewage canals behind them. >> we are on the exact place where i took this photo mid '90s in the picture you'd see the sunset. >> warner: behind that mountain or hill? >> you see the one house and one guy is working on his house-- >> i came here to cover the new settlements, during recent years i have come to this place to cover murders. >> warner: hundreds of juarez women have been murdered over the last two decades-- their bodies dumped on city streets or discovered in the vast desert beyond outside or never found at
all. cardona saw the chaos coming. he shot these photographs in 1995, as the economy boomed and homicides began to surge. >> this photograph was taken on the boundary of two warring gangs. in some way, you look at these pictures i saw it coming. the city was growing in a chaotic way and that wasn't sustainable for a society. >> warner: two years later, a turning point-- six people executed gangland style in a restaurant after a bullfight downtown. >> it was the biggest massacre in the history of the city. six people, it was very big news, during the '90s the drug-
during that time my people were not aware that the city was becoming more chaotic little by little. and that the drug business was growing. >> warner: growing because of the proximity to the united states and its giant illicit market; growing because it promised vast and fast riches to people used to nothing; growing >> what we have seen during those years is that economy was developed into the economy of crime. first drugs and recent years have been added kidnapping, extortion, housejacking, carjacking. you get a job, you are a kidnapper. you get a job when you kill somebody for $100 or $200. it's harder to eradicate this kind of economy then just a couple of gangs warring against each other. >> warner: before long, the gangs weren't just killing each other, but preying on ordinary people.
>> a lot of people who decided to cross the border to save their lives. many people lost all they made in their entire life because of kidnapping. >> warner: army troops arrived in 2008 and the violence only grew. more than 3,600 people were killed in 2010, including two especially grisly mass murders within months of each other. some 30 teenage students felled by bullets at birthday parties. >> during the recent years, we have had more than 10,000 homicides since 2008. we have been rated as the most violent city on earth. >> warner: murders in juarez did drop last year to under 2,000. and last month the city posted the lowest body count in years, still one murder every ten hours. but sitting in burritos tony, cardona grieves for juarez as a
>> i'm staying because this is my city. it's an important story. how a city becomes the most violent city on earth. i was able to do it and i'm okay with that. it's my job. >> warner: he takes us to the end of that story, for all too many. >> we are at the municipal cemetery san rafael, and this place is what is know as a fosa comun. those who are not recognized by their relatives. at some point when the morgue is tagged with bodies, they decide to send the unidentified persons to the mass grave. >> warner: cemetery. >> we do see some crosses here; there are some marked areas. there are people who are so afraid even to have a funeral, aftea certain time they go and
find a place where the body is found and they put a cross. >> warner: and so they are still adding bodies here? >> they are still adding bodies here. >> brown: after margaret filed that report this afternoon, i spoke with her from mexico city. margaret, we watch a piece like that from juarez and the other reports you've done this week, and i wonder what it feels like being there, does it feel like a dangerous place? do you see it affecting people you meet? >> warner: jeff t really depends where you are. certainly in ciudad juarez and monterey, people and i felt it, live with a sense of threat. even in monterey, the third biggest city in the country, very wealthy, almost everyone, it seems, has a story of someone they know
being caught up in some kind of incident whether it's just being in a restaura and having thugs come in and want everyone's wallet. in monterey we had security and once coming back from spending part of the day with the mayor in an outlying area, our security detail suddenly heard over the radio two -- the two vans just passed and we were planning to shoot somewhere else. he said they may not be talking about someone else but we're out of here. the fear of being kidnapped or petty crime is pretty high. here in mexico city is completely different it feels like any normal city and yet two days ago there was a shoot-out at the international airport between several police and apparently two crooked federal police. so everybody knows something's wrong here. >> all right so, there is an election on sunday which you have been watching and covering all this week. how does that atmosphere play into the voeling? >> well, as we've been reporting this week, jeff t plays into it hugely. people here, even if they support take on the cartels
they want the violence to stop. they want to be able to go to school and work without living in fear. and so the candidate of president calderon's party, josefina vazquez mota is third in the polls am people just want a change. despite the economy being pretty good. and so whether it's enrique pena nieto who wince of the pri or andres manuel lopez obrador, the former maur of the city, it's clear that the way the judge war-- drug wars have been fought will change in some fashion. >> brown: what about the election process? there have been problems in the past with, you know, whether they were fair and honnest. what, are there concerns this time? what is being done? >> well, there were deep concerns after 2006, jeff, because that was really traumatic for this country. it was only their second truly free presidential election and it was so razor thin and obrador who was running then, was the loser,
charged fraud. there were serious allegations of ballot stuffing, vote count changes. and he really shut down this city with demonstrations for six weeks. a lot of people lost their jobs. but worse t called into question the legitimacy, not only of someone from its election committee said to me today, the result. but was their very identity as a democracy. so there have been a lot of changes made. the election commission thinks that at the polling places themselves they've got an almost airtight system. choosing the poll official, every party and every candidate has monitors. they've got all these triple checks which i won't go into detail here but we will report onion line on sunday. so they think that is pretty airtight. but what they can't control is whether there is vote buyi before the election or threats. and there have, the other two parties not the front-runner pena nieto's party but the other two parties have charged that is
going on. so far the commission hasn't seen enough evidence of that. but you know remains a concern. >> brown: all right, well, we will talk to you again on monday o of course, margaret warner in mexico city, thanks so much. >> warner: thanks, jeff. >> brown: on our website, we have a slideshow with more of julian cardona's photographs from juarez. and this sunday, we'll have special web coverage of election day in mexico, including a dispatch from our team on the ground. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: president obama visited the heavily fire damaged areas in colorado springs, colorado, where hundreds of homes burned this week. wall street soared after european leaders agreed on new measures to rescue banks and aid heavily indebted governments. and congress approved a compromise bill to keep hold down interest rates on student loans and fund transportation programs. and to hari sreenivasan for what's on the "newshour" online. hari? >> sreenivasan: as fire crews battle the blazes in colorado, you can view a selection of
images of the waldo canyon fire taken by our viewers and the photographers at the denver post. and on our economics page, paul solman answers the question: does it make good economic sense for employers to test applicants for marijuana use? all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on monday, we'll look at the just-finished historic supreme court term plus margaret warner on mexico's presidential election this sunday. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. stay cool if you're in the hottest regions of the country. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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